YouTube appears to be in experimental mode, and unfortunately for users, none of their experiments and/or tests seem to benefit those using the ad-supported (free) version of the service. Last time we talked about it, it was 10+ non-skippable pre-video ads. At that time? 4K resolution video with YouTube Premium.

As a user on Twitter revealed, YouTube’s video quality settings showed that the service is testing the idea of โ€‹โ€‹placing 4K resolution and above behind a Premium paywall. This means that unless you pay for a Premium subscription, the highest quality video you can watch is 1440p. While this resolution will be enough for some, anyone who wants to see the latest Droid Life video in 4K will have to pay to enjoy it.

In response, a YouTube user says, “It looks like your part of our experiment is to get a better idea of โ€‹โ€‹feature preferences for premium and regular viewers.”

Also, the grammatical error (and who cares about grammar on Twitter?), YouTube’s claim that they want to test what paid and free users prefer in terms of quality, seems odd. I pay for a subscription but rarely watch 4K videos. 1080p is enough for me, like most others. What exactly are they trying to achieve with this test? Personally, it seems to me that they are just trying to put as many features as possible into their Premium paywall before people start complaining.

Should 4K be a premium feature?

If YouTube first introduced 4K as a Premium feature, of course it will stay that way. However, this is not what is happening. 4K support has been around for a while now for all users (paid and free), so you can’t go back and make it Premium now that people are familiar with accessing it. This is not true. At least that’s how it should work.

I’m sure we have people here who have thoughts on this. I would like to hear them. Is it okay for YouTube to control their bandwidth based on how much you pay them? Or should all users have access to any video quality?